DISTILLING AUTHENTICITY: MATERIALITY AND NARRATIVES IN CANADIAN DISTILLERIES’ AUTHENTICITY WORK

Maxim Voronov, William M. Foster, Gerardo Patriotta, Klaus Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Authenticity is increasingly seen as a source of competitive advantage in many industries. Accordingly, authenticity work, the organizational efforts to develop and sustain believable authenticity claims, has emerged as an important organizational practice. We examined the interplay of materiality and narratives underpinning producers’ authenticity work in the context of incumbent and micro-distilleries operating in the Canadian whisky industry. We found that producers’ material endowments, especially central product features, anchored which authenticity claims they could credibly narrate. Other material endowments, such as key people and architectural design, were used to reinforce the integrity of authenticity claims. Our study extends our understanding of authenticity as a valued organizational resource. First, we identify two mechanisms, anchoring and reinforcement, through which materiality both constrains and facilitates organizations’ authenticity narratives. Second, our research brings to the fore how audience members’ experiential closeness to producers colors their perceptions of authenticity, and we show how material artifacts can enhance such closeness. Third, our findings highlight the competitive value of authenticity by unpacking how producers’ material endowments may constitute a resource or a liability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1468
Number of pages31
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume66
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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